I cried over her misspelled words

Lovebug and I had a great day! We started the day with breakfast, and then some game time.  I wanted some one-on-one time with her because I knew I would be spending a lot of time unpacking today and she wouldn’t get as much of my focused attention.

First we played “I Can Do That!”. It’s a Dr. Seuss game and one of our family favorites. 

Then, we got out a new game that we had been given, but never opened – Cranium’s Big Book of Outrageous Fun!  We played the board game inside, and then I left her to play by herself with the rest.  It’s not really a single person game, but she just wanted to “play with” the game, not actually play the game.

Inside the box is a book.  On each page of the book is a question and a mostly blank page.  The idea is for each person playing to write their answer to the question along with a symbol that person has chosen for themselves so that once there are several answers on the page you can tell which answer belongs to which person.

While I went upstairs to rid our home of some more cardboard boxes, she went to work on the book.  I honestly figured that would last about 2 minutes before she moved on to something else since I wasn’t there to help her.


Much later she came up to me and handed me the book, asking me to read what she had done.  As I read through the book, I was fighting back my tears.  Many of the pages were short answers with correctly written words, but there were also several pages with longer answers and many, many misspelled words.

As I handed the book back to her, and she walked out of the room, I was in tears!

Not because she didn’t spell the words right.  Quite the opposite.  I was SO SO PROUD of her!!

You see, Lovebug is quite the perfectionist.  She often won’t even attempt something if she doesn’t know with all certainty that she can do it right.  Handwriting is one of those areas.  She struggles in this area as it is, but when it comes to writing words, notes, birthday cards or anything of the sort, I have to tell her how to spell EVERY.  SINGLE.  WORD.  Telling her to “just try” or to “guess” gets us nowhere.  She gets so frustrated, and her self esteem just plummets because she feels bad about making mistakes – no matter how much we try to build her up.  She’s afraid to try.  I’ve told her countless times that she has to make mistakes to learn, that everyone gets things wrong sometimes, and that you only really fail if you don’t try.  It never seems to sink in.

I’ve been working with her for a long time on her writing & spelling.  When she wants to write a letter to a friend, or a card to a grandparent, then instead of telling her how to spell the words, I make her sound it out a sound or syllable at a time and we work through it.  It’s a compromise.  She gets my affirmation before she puts the pencil to paper so she knows she’s spelling it right, but I am satisfied because she’s learning how to do it. 

This time, she did it all by herself!!  She tried.  She didn’t ask me even once how to spell a word.  She just guessed, did her best, and went for it!  This is so huge for her. I wish I could make you understand just how big this is. 

Some of the words are close, but others are really really wrong.  So wrong that if I didn’t know better I’d think she didn’t know what sounds the letters make.  But I DO know that she knows.  I also know that she has auditory issues that make it hard for her to HEAR the sounds in her head as she’s trying to spell words.  Thankfully as I read the questions aloud to her, she said the answers so I didn’t have to ask her what she wrote.  Whew!  I was able to just praise her over and over for the great job and hard work that she did. 

Hubby and I used to talk about how we’ll never have those cute notes from our child with words spelled wrong like most parents.   Well, now we do and I could not be more excited about it!


Translation: “Headphones”


Translation: “Woods in the Middle Ages”



Translation: “Jesus Loves Me”



Translation: “What city does Sammy live in?”

4 thoughts on “I cried over her misspelled words

  1. Beautiful! My youngest son has struggled with handwriting, and he gets easily frustrated when he has to sit down and do his work. I’m so happy that you had this moment with your child. I understand how hard it can be for all involved. What a wonderful story!

    1. It’s so hard to watch them struggle with handwriting, isn’t it? Especially when I know soon she’ll mostly be typing everything 🙂 Thank you for your encouragement. I love the name of your blog – I’ll check it out! I sure do love my coffee!

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